During development, neural progenitor cells (NPCs) that are capable of self-renewing maintain a proliferative cellular pool while generating all differentiated neural cell components. Although the genetic network of transcription factors (TFs) required for neural specification has been well characterized, the unique set of histone modifications that accompanies this process has only recently started to be investigated. In vitro neural differentiation of pluripotent stem cells is emerging as a powerful system to examine epigenetic programs. Deciphering the histone code and how it shapes the chromatin environment will reveal the intimate link between epigenetic changes and mechanisms for neural fate determination in the developing nervous system. Furthermore, it will offer a molecular framework for a stringent comparison between native and induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) generated by direct neural cell conversion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology